GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Islands (MindaNews / 11 January) – Electricity has reached Daku Island, a tourist destination in this world-renowned town of Surigao del Norte.
The P36-million underwater cable project linking mainland Siargao to Barangay Daku supplies round-the-clock power to at least 40 of the 85 households of the island which is also famous for its white sandy beach, surfing spots and game-fishing.
The switch-on took place last December 27, 2017, Daku Island barangay chair Imelda Gaña said Tuesday.
She said the 24-hour power service will enhance economic activity and people’s productivity.
This has ended decades of insufficient power supply that was available only from 6-10 pm to a few houses which could afford the costly fuel-fed generator sets.
Power is a crucial need for an island that is frequented by thousands of tourists every year, said General Luna Mayor Jaime P. Rusillon.
The project, according to National Electrification Administration chief Edgardo S. Masongsong, is a result of the commitments made by their office to energize tourist islands in the country.
For Daku residents, power cost comes at a much lower rate compared to fuel-fed generating sets, Siargao Island Electric Cooperative (Siarelco) general manager Sergio Dagooc said.
Endowed with white sand beaches, several surfing spots and marine sanctuary, Daku Island is expected to get a huge boost from the underwater power cable.
“The project is aimed to improve the tourism industry in the area,” Rusillon pointed out, adding investors have already signified their intention to embark on hotel and restaurant businesses in the island.
Daku Island has a total land area of 136 hectares and can be reached from General Luna in 10 to 15 minutes by motor banca.
Fishing and farming used to be the main sources of livelihood in the area. But many residents have already ventured into providing services to local and foreign tourists.
Rusillon said Daku Island has a strong potential to make its mark in the local tourism industry due to its white sand beaches and several surfing spots.
The absence of a steady source of electricity has hindered the development of the island, he said.
He said the local government erected nine solar panels in the island three years ago, but the facility was not enough to supply the electricity demand of the residents and business sector.
“We are really thankful to the NEA both local and national government for bringing power to the island. Residents are enjoying the power supply and this will transform the lives of our constituents in the island-village of Daku,” Gaña said.
She said most of the villagers have applied for connection service to Siarelco.
She added she expects 90 percent of the households to avail of power supply in the next few days. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)